Doncaster’s Young People Discover the Opportunities That Are Right on Their Doorstep at the Region’s Largest Career’s Fair
The largest careers fair in the entire South Yorkshire region took place yesterday, with over 75 businesses exhibiting and upwards of 3,500 young people in attendance.
Organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, Opportunities Doncaster Live (OD Live) is an annual event that’s all about introducing students — from both primary and secondary schools — to the job prospects that are available right on their doorstep. The hope is that this will inspire them to have grander aspirations for the future and that they will potentially get to kick-start their dream careers.
On Thursday, 9th March, businesses and education providers all came together under one roof at Doncaster Racecourse, for OD Live 2023. Representing a diverse range of industries, the likes of Polypipe Building Products, South Yorkshire Police, VolkerRail, SYNETIQ, Keepmoat Homes, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals and The Yorkshire Wildlife Park were all exhibiting here — raising awareness of their career pathways and engaging directly with the next generation of talent.
With a heavy emphasis on interactivity, the various stands found unique ways to grab the attention of passers-by. Boxes and Packaging had a fun Tetris-style puzzle for students to solve, while Hybrid Air Vehicles offered a virtual reality tour of one of their iconic Airlander ships, and Doncaster College showed off their Animal Care and Beauty & Makeup courses (with a Guinea Pig and free manicures respectively!)
Elsewhere, both the Army and the Navy took to a live stage to field questions from pupils, and McClaren brought in one of their state-of-the-art 675LT supercars for a demonstration. All in all, it was a very dynamic and stimulating event that showcased just how much choice there is for young people in Doncaster when it comes to pursuing a rewarding career.
Reflecting on all the excitement, Rebecca Birch, Careers Coordinator at Hall Cross Academy, said: “It was a great event, with a huge range of stalls from different employers and training providers. It was a fantastic event that had lots of interactive activities to get students involved and initiate conversations regarding their future choices.”
Echoing these sentiments, Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, added: “The atmosphere was superb, with so many eye-catching exhibitions, interesting activities, and young people all eager to see what opportunities are out there for them. From Hybrid Air Vehicles virtual reality display to the McClaren car, it was such a vibrant event that really showed Doncaster at its best."
Finally, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “A true highlight for businesses and local young people alike, OD Live proves to be one of our most fulfilling events each and every year. 2023’s careers fair was no exception in that regard as, once again, we were able to showcase the vast breadth of opportunities that are available here in our city.
“From construction to engineering, manufacturing, health and beauty, the arts and more, there are so many thriving industries here in Doncaster and it was great to see them all represented in such engaging ways. With that said, I’d like to thank those businesses that did exhibit at OD Live, for giving their time so generously and for making this effort to connect with their future workforces.
“Likewise, I also want to commend the students themselves, for showing such curiosity and enthusiasm for Doncaster’s business community. I hope that we managed to open their minds to what’s out there and broaden their horizons.
“Finally, I must also thank our incredible sponsors — Harrison College, Polypipe Building Products, Boxes and Packaging, VolkerRail, SYNETIQ and DN Colleges Group — without whom this would not have been possible.”